Categories

Going Nuts

 

March is nearly half over and I would be remiss if I did not mention that March is both National Peanut Month and National Nutritional Month. SoMarch is the perfect time to share some easy peanut recipes and celebrate the nutritional merits of both the peanut and peanut butter.

Eating an ounce of peanuts or 2 tablespoons of peanut butter is like taking a multi-vitamin. Both are excellent sources of protein and fiber, and over 30 nutrients including Vitamin E, niacin, folate, phosphorus, the B-vitamins, and magnesium. And even better, both peanuts and peanut butter are cholesterol free and low in saturated fat. As an extra added free bonus, both are super tasty and delicious. It is almost the perfect food!

Good News For Dieters Too

According too CNN and other recent research all “these health benefits seem to occur without also promoting weight gain.”

There are a lot of recipes using peanuts. But the easiest and least expensive way to get the nutrition in peanuts is to just eat a handful of them (5 to7 is all you needaccording to nutritionists)  every day as a snack. 

Another easy way to get some peanuts into your daily diet is to chop a few and throw them on top of a salad.

I like to eat a piece of fruit with peanuts or other nuts for breakfast. I also enjoy  half of an English muffin toasted with some butter and peanut butter served some fruit or nuts, too. Sometimes I have a hard boiled egg and some nuts for breakfast. All of these meals are very filling. To make breakfast quick and easy I often hard boil 3 or 4 eggs at a time and store them in the refrigerator. Then morning breakfast preparation is a breeze. My version of fast food. And very little clean up too!

To save money buy peanuts  in bulk as opposed to the jar, can, or package and it will cost you pennies. If you buy peanuts in bulk you will save about 50% off the cost. The problem is finding peanuts in bulk. Most stores seem to carry only the small jars or cans of peanuts. However, if you shop around or are lucky to have a food co-op or a quality farmer’s market in your area you may be able to find them in bulk there for much less. I found some on line for $.18 an ounce. The link to that site is to your right under my favorite sites. If you find them cheaper else where, please let us all know by leaving the information in the comments section.

In a quick survey at stores near where I live I found this:

A 16 ounce jar of peanuts went for a low of $4.85 to a high of $5.99. ($.30-$.37/oz)

A 12 ounce can went for a low of $3.15 to a high of $4.25. ($.26-$.35/oz)

I found one store that sold a 20 ounce package for $3.45. ($.17/oz)

Online I was able to find a 1 pound bag of raw Virginia peanuts for $2.95. ($.18/oz) Of course on line you must also figure in shipping & handling which raises the cost per ounce. So the regular grocery store cost may be the best value after all. However, no matter how you buy them the cost is relatively inexpensive considering the health benefits.

As for peanut butter, there are thousands of recipes using peanut butter. But the easiest, most budget friendly, as well as the  most popular way to eat peanut butter is the ever popular and simple peanut butter and jelly sandwich. Peanut butter and jelly is an all-time favorite sandwich for school lunch boxes across the nation too.

There are dozens of variations to the basic PB&J sandwich. One of my favorite variations is this one:

Peanut Butter and Jelly Sandwich with Banana

1 slice of bread spread with peanut butter

1 banana cut in half and then each half cut in half lengthwise

Place bananas on the peanut butter and drizzle honey over the top

Cost:

Loaf bread/27 slices  $.99

2 bananas $.32

1 jar peanut butter $2.78/18 ounces

1 jar honey $4.45/37 ounces

Cost for 3 people:

3 slices bread   $.12

2 bananas          $.32

6 tablespoons PB   $.46

9 teaspoons honey   $.54

Total cost = $1.44

Cost per person = $.48

Perhaps the most famous version of a PB&J sandwich is the Elvis Presley. Elvis made a peanut butter, banana and fried bacon sandwich. It is said to have been one of his favorites.

Every one seems to have their own personal version of a PB&J sandwich. SHARE YOUR FAVORITE PB&J SANDWICH IN THE COMMENTS SECTION BELOW.

Featured Recipe    Grilled Peanut Butter Sandwich

I also like a grilled peanut butter sandwich. Just spread some peanut butter on a slice of bread, cover with another slice of bread. Then grill it as you would a grilled cheese sandwich in some butter. Served with fruit (fresh, canned, or frozen makes no difference)  this is a very easy, nutritious, filling, and budget friendly lunch or dinner. If you use whole wheat bread the sandwich is even healthier.

Cost:

Loaf bread/27 slices  $.99

1 jar peanut butter $2.78/18 ounces

2-3 tablespoons butter $1.19/stick

1 – 18 ounce can fruit $2.75

Cost for 3 people

6 slices bread              $.72

12 tablespoons PB        $.84

2-3 tablespoons butter  $.45

9 ounces canned fruit    $1.38

Total cost = $3.39

Cost per person = $1.13

Another nutritious snack is celery slices filled with peanut butter. You can also add some raisins on top of the peanut butter. For young children you can call this ‘ants on a log.’

Costs:

1 stalk celery    $1.50

1 jar peanut butter $2.78/18 ounces

1 box raisin  $1.28/9 ounces

Cost for 3 people

2-3 ribs celery    $.45

9 tablespoons PB  $.63

About 30 raisins   $.07 to $.14 (this is a pure guess; cost of 1/2 ounce)

Total cost = $1.22

Cost per person = $.41

No doubt about it! When it comes to nutrition, deliciousness, and inexpensive eating it is hard to beat peanuts or peanut butter.[/print_this]

Some Fun Facts About peanuts:

  • Peanuts are not actually nuts at all! They are legumes, like beans, peas and lentils.
  • Americans eat 3 pounds of peanut butter per person every year. That’s about 700 million pounds, or enough to coat the floor of the Grand Canyon!
  • Peanuts may be a favorite food, but we’ve found many uses for their shells too! You might find peanut shells in kitty litter, wallboard, fireplace logs, paper, animal feed and sometimes as fuel for power plants!
  • Two peanut farmers have been elected President of the United States: Thomas Jefferson and Jimmy Carter.
  • One acre of peanuts will make 30,000 peanut butter sandwiches.

And finally, a clever and funny  peanut butter commercial from 1989:

Print Friendly

6 comments to Going Nuts